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The Vegetable Gardener's Bible, 2nd Edition 2nd Edition
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About the Author
Edward C. Smith is the best-selling author of The Vegetable Gardener's Bible and The Vegetable Gardener's Container Bible. For more than 30 years he and his wife, Sylvia, have lived off the grid in Vermont, in a house they built on land they cleared by hand. Together, the grow more than 100 varieties of vegetables, fruits, and herbs in their 2,000 square feet of gardens and containers.
Top Customer Reviews
ORIGINAL REVIEW: I started gardening for the first time last year and have used this book to the point that the edges are curled and it looks like it's 10 years old! It tells a little about everything. Whenever I need to know how deep to plant, spacing or what nutrients plants need, it's all right there on one page! I believe it is more focused on northern gardens, but I live in the deep south and it still came in quite handy! I never actually put this book away. If I do, it comes right back out within a few days. It is a great introduction to gardening organically and tells enough to get you started on everything. If you need more information you would need to research further, but this book provides enough to get you going for sure. I give it 5 stars for the layout, pictures, information and ease of use! Happy gardening!
I don't get a lot of the "my way" attitude from this book. It's chock full of useful information, but the author is careful to say there is more than one way to do many of the chores and tasks related to the vegetable garden, as well as options for varieties of plants and seeds. One thing you won't find is a bunch of recipes or cooking ideas, which is fine with me. I don't cook in the garden, and I have plenty of recipes in my RECIPE books - don't need them in the gardening books.
The text is in an easy conversational style, which I appreciated. The book offers sections on preparation, composting, fertilizer, pest control. The back part of the book is vegetable specific, with tips on how to grow various veggies along with the names of proven varieties and comparisons of those. Lastly, there is a section on herb gardening, which is an art in and of itself. This book will serve as a wonderful basic reference for anyone starting out with their first (or second or 20th) vegetable garden. After all, when it comes to gardening, in a sense don't we start all over again every year?!
However, I live in North Carolina, and much of it didn't apply to me. I found information on heating the ground and extending the season, etc. much too heavily weighted against living with heat and humidity and providing good air circulation, etc. Also, he leaves out many mulches, gardening practices and pests from the South.
The author talks about many good garden practices, but you can find that information in many places. I agree with another reviewer who suggested some of the in-depth seed catalogs, like Johnny's. (Johnny's has been invaluable to me, and they're based in Maine ....)
Also, the heft of this book didn't seem worth it for the graphics, cute headers, info boxes, etc. Some liken it to a coffee table book, but I'm reminded more of a middle school textbook.
I'm glad so many have reviewed this book so highly, and I hope that has translated into many happy gardeners! If you are a Northern gardener, I can see how it could be your "bible."
I'd recommend the Sqaure Foot Gardening book by Mel Bartholomew for someone just starting out- or anyone, really, the Southern Living books if you're south of Mason-Dixon, extensive seed catalogs, or even the Ortho series (or something similar you can find at a garden center) before I'd recommend this expensive, weighty tome that is pretty to look at but short of hard, useful info in my opinion. Wish I had known this guy was writing from a Vermont gardening perspective before I bought this book.
1. Made for a beginner, like me. It starts from the very beginning stages of choosing a spot, planning a garden and includes clear and logical arguments for why the method of wide raised beds is best.
2. The language is friendly, practical and to the point. I don't want to have to pick useful bits out of someone's rambling gardening philosophy, but nor do I want a book so technical I don't know what I'm looking at or too basic to be useful. This is the perfect balance for me.
I bought this book and literally sat down to read it (tables and side boxes included) cover to (almost) cover in one afternoon. I'm not someone who reads text books that way! I'm a skimmer. But this was so interesting that I wanted to read each section. I learned so much even before setting foot in the soil and didn't struggle or feel bored by it. You feel like you are getting a private gardening lesson from an expert who really wants you to love it.
3. There are diagrams and photos, but not so many that you feel like it could be half the size and half the price. It's got a New Englander's practicality to the photo selection and each one has a purpose.
4. It includes very clear instructions and suggestions for EVERY step, from reading seed catalogs to building the raised beds to starting seeds to various methods for weeding or preventing pests... it is extremely thorough.
5. The section on each vegetable is not cursory or an afterthought. The author includes a detailed standard table of all the variables (sun, soil temp, ph, etc.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book has a wealth of helpful information for both beginning and intermediate gardners. After getting a couple of years under my belt gardening in supported raised beds, I... Read morePublished 3 days ago by Erica Dell
Very fast service. Product as advertised. Completely satisfied.Published 9 days ago by Amazon Customer
Very helpful book and is truely a bible for the garden in all of us.Published 17 days ago by Charles Keating
I have been a gardener all of my life, but thanks to "The Vegetable Gardner's Bible" I have changed some of my practices, i.e. wider and deeper beds. Read morePublished 23 days ago by Marcia